Dharamshala joins Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy

DHARAMSHALA, Himachal Pradesh: Onkar Singh Nehria, Mayor of Dharamshala Municipal Corporation, signed the commitment letter to the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy (GCoM), thus making Dharamshala the 27th city from India to join this global network. GCoM is the largest coalition of mayors committed to taking actions on climate change. This global network currently includes over 11,500 cities and local governments representing around 1 billion people spread across 142 countries. The cities and partners of GCoM share a long-term vision of supporting voluntary action to combat climate change. Together, they strive toward a resilient and low-emission society. The signatory cities aim to achieve the ambitious goals ascertained in the Paris Agreement of 2015. The signatory city has to undertake initiatives aiming to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, prepare itself for the effects of climate change, enhance access to sustainable clean energy solutions and lastly, the cities have to track the progress of all the initiatives. Onkar Singh Nehria, Mayor, Dharamshala Municipal Corporation, after signing the GCoM commitment letter, said, “As we have signed the commitment letter of GCoM, we are looking to work alongside all the organisations that are part of this project.” Through GCoM and local/global city network partners, the Global Covenant of Mayors will offer technical support and training and work with Dharmshala to plan and implement climate initiatives more effectively. It will provide access to global city data, research and knowledge, harmonized reporting standards and technical assistance in preparing climate action plans as well as increased access to finance. In addition, GCoM’s global research and innovation agenda on cities and climate change will support cities in developing the science and knowledge needed to help evolve urban areas into transformative agents of change. GCoM-SA will also aim to facilitate collaboration with multilevel governance actors to allow Indian cities to implement the climate action plan in an integrated way, collectively raising global climate ambition to deliver on the goals of the Paris Agreement. Indian cities will host 200 million more people by 2030, and two-thirds of India’s buildings that will exist by 2030 remain to be built. The country’s future urban planning and implementation will have a decisive influence on the global climate impact of international efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Till now, 27 cities in India have joined the list of signatories. The list includes Patna, Rajkot, Gwalior, Shimla, Panaji, Nagpur, Surat, Gangtok, Vadodara, Gandhi Nagar, Bhavnagar, Mumbai, Amdavad, Kochi, Junagadh, Jamnagar, Siliguri, Udaipur, Thane Coimbatore, Dehradun, Tiruchirappalli, Pune, Kolkata, Tirunelveli and Leh. In India, GCoM is engaging with various partners such as – AIILSG, ICLEI South Asia and NIUA. All India Institute of Local Self-Government (AIILSG) is a premier, Government recognized Institute having unmatched standing experience of more than 93 years and Pan-India presence with more than 50 centres across the country. AIILSG, with “decades of dedicated service” in the field of – Capacity Building, Energy Conservation, Urban planning, Smart City Development, Policies formulation, Advocacy Events, Consultancy, and Seminars have been working to empower the Local Bodies to usher in Good Local Governance, across the country. As a GCoM South Asia Networking and Governance Coordinator, AIILSG will be working closely with concerned ministries and all the relevant stakeholders in coordination with the EU Delegation to ensure the outreach and involvement of cities in GCoM activities, representation to various climate events, and providing administrative and logistical support to signatory as well as potentially interested cities. ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability is a network of more than 2500 local and regional governments, supported by a team of global experts, driving sustainable urban development worldwide. ICLEI aims to build and serve a regional network of local governments to achieve tangible improvements in regional and global sustainability through local initiatives. ICLEI South Asia as the Technical Coordinator of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy (GCoM) South Asia will provide technical support to GCoM South Asia network, local governments, and relevant stakeholders in the region. ICLEI South Asia is supporting the GCoM knowledge management platforms, organization of technical webinars, review of climate action plans and establishing dialogues with International Financial Institutions (IFI), donors and commercial banks on possibilities to finance projects arising from the cooperation. The Climate Centre for Cities (C-Cube) has been established at NIUA to create synergy across all climate actions which are being undertaken in Indian cities by various stakeholders. The Centre will work with a range of stakeholders and partners to focus on strengthening capacities of cities to understand, implement and monitor actions needed for addressing climate change impacts in their urban area. C-Cube is implementing Climate Smart Cities Assessment Framework (CSCAF) developed by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs and for the same it has developed more than 20 training modules for supporting cities on progressing across its different indicators.